What did you want to be when you grew up?
Apparently my response from a young age was always, “A poser” (true story)! Having just looked up the definition of that it seems I did indeed achieve my goal.
A poser = “A person who pretends to be what he or she is not.”
I’ve basically spent most of my life pretending. Not on purpose of course, but I realise now I didn’t have the confidence to let the real me out because I was convinced she wouldn’t be good enough.
So rather than face potential rejection I would subconsciously adjust myself to try and be who I thought the other person, or people, wanted me to be – the funniest, smartest, most professional, most ambitious, most outgoing…the most drunk!
Some of those versions of Laura landed me in a lot of hot water at times (although some had a lot of fun too!) But what all of the versions did, was hold me back in some way. For example:
- “Ambitious Laura” got some epic shit done but burned out as a result
- “Professional Laura” made a lot of business connections but lost connection with the people who matter in the process
- “Drunk Laura” had a lot of fun but fucked over her health at the same time
It wasn’t until I stopped trying to be a version of myself and plucked up the courage to just be my real self, that I finally started moving forward in all areas of my life.
Why was that, you might be wondering?
Why you get more good shit done when you have the confidence to show up as you
Well, when you’re no longer driven by the need to prove yourself you can let go of:
- Pushing yourself to the extremes when you don’t need or want to
- Unnecessary thoughts and worries about what people think of you
- Feeling guilty for not being there in the way you want to be for the people around you
- Constantly feeling tired, flat and anxious
- Working yourself into the ground and still not achieving what you want
Can you imagine how much easier and more enjoyable business and life would be if you weren’t carrying all that shit around with you all the time!
Ok, so that’s enough about me – let’s flip this around and break down what you can take from it.
First thing’s first, let’s identify if this is happening for you – if you too are a “poser”.
Do you find you have different personas for different situations? Often I see this with us boss bitches:
Work Persona: Decision-maker, organised, clear communicator, early to everything
Home Persona: Can’t decide what to have for dinner, has to search through piles of clothes for outfit, regularly gives partner the silent treatment, puts makeup on in car
Online Persona: Everything is wonderful. Living the dream while eating delicious food and having endless fun and romantic moments with loved ones
Now don’t get me wrong – of course you have to accentuate different elements of your personality in order to get the most out of different situations, but if it feels like there’s a massive disconnect between how you’re presenting to the world and who you really are inside – that’s when we need to hoist the red flags.
Have you heard of imposter syndrome? Where you feel like a fraud, question your abilities, feel like you don’t deserve to be where you are and spend your life worrying about being exposed?
That’s a big old side effect of not being comfortable to show up as yourself.
So what do you do about it? Here’s three simple but highly effective actions you can take.
How to stop feeling like an imposter and get back your confidence:
1. Remember who you are
What makes you, you? I encourage you to get super specific with your answer to this question. There are so many little things that together make you the fabulous weirdo you are!
Get a piece of paper and brain dump all these things until you fill up the whole page. What’s important to you? What lights you up? What can you not live without?
Getting connected or reconnected to these things, and regularly factoring them into your life, will give you a deep sense of fulfilment and encourage your confidence to come back out to play.
2. Define what you want to be known for
If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want your gravestone to say? What legacy do you want to create in your life?
You don’t have to change the world or make millions of dollars to leave a powerful legacy – living the life you choose and having a positive impact on the people who matter to you is way more compelling than that.
I, for example, want to be known for making a positive difference to everyone I interact with. So whether I’m having fun with a friend, helping my husband make business decisions or smiling at a stranger in a street, I know I want all of them to walk away from our interaction feeling like I had a positive impact on them in some way.
So once you understand what your reason for being is, you can focus your energy on aligning your thoughts, behaviours and actions with that – meaning you’re staying aligned with who you really are.
3. Hang out with the people who bring out the best in you
Who in your life can you truly be yourself with? Who can you laugh your arse off with, get deep with, talk complete garbage with, cry with, call on at any time of the day?
Time with these people needs to be prioritised. Imagine you’re a balloon and they’re the string – hanging out with them keeps you grounded and safe, which in turn gives you confidence because your brain can relax, get out of protection mode and stop feeding you thoughts and fears of not being good enough.
So by consistently doing things you love, aligning what you do with why you’re here and hanging out with the people who allow you to be yourself, your confidence will grow, your work will become more focused and your life will be more balanced…
…which ultimately means you’ll have A LOT more fun and get A LOT more good shit done!